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In June 2020, Relativity, the first and only company to integrate 3D printing, robotics and software to design, build, test and launch orbital rockets in just days, once again expanded at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, home of the space agency’s largest rocket testing site. The $2.4 million investment supports the growth of Relativity’s rocket vehicle and engine testing capabilities and falls on the heels of the company’s 2019 expansion of Stennis’s E4 rocket engine test complex, a $59 million investment that is creating 190 jobs.
Also at Stennis, NASA recently awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a $1.79 billion contract for 18 additional RS-25 engines for its Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the moon by 2024. The sophisticated engines will be assembled and tested in Hancock County and will power the Space Launch Systems, which will carry astronauts even deeper into space.
In January, Northrop Grumman announced an expansion in Iuka to accommodate an increase in the production of large composite aerospace structures for its Antares, Pegasus and Minotaur launch vehicles and United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles. Among other work, the company recently started production of composite structures for its new OmegA mid-to-large launch vehicle.
Universities in the state also are playing an important role in the aerospace industry. The FAA has designated Mississippi State University as a Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, making it a hub of research that will integrate UAS into the industrial mainstream. In early August, MSU received a $1.42 million grant from the FAA for research, education and training.
While Mississippi plays an important role in space exploration and has for decades, the state’s aerospace companies also strongly support the U.S. military and its allies. In Shannon, General Atomics recently expanded again for the 12th time in 15 years – a strong testament to the quality workmanship displayed by the company’s employees. General Atomics is at the leading edge of Northeast Mississippi’s defense and advanced manufacturing industries, where the company designs and builds its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems for the U.S. Navy, produces components for its Predator and Grey Eagle drones and much more.
Airbus Helicopters in Columbus recently was awarded a $122.6 million contract by the U.S. Army for the production of 15 additional UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopters. Airbus’s facility in Columbus has been producing Lakotas for the U.S. Army since 2006 and has delivered hundreds of the technologically advanced helicopters on time, at cost and meeting strict Army quality standards.
The state’s public-private partnerships work hard to ensure these companies and many more are positioned for years of long-term growth and success in Mississippi. Included in that list are industry leaders such as Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin and Orbital ATK.
Working with local economic developers throughout the state, the Mississippi Development Authority can help you identify an ideal location, site and facility for your aerospace and defense operations in Mississippi. Contact us today at 1.800.360.3323 or [email protected].
Relocating or Expanding Your Business In Mississippi
Considering Mississippi for your corporate expansion or relocation project? Check out Business Facilities’ Mississippi Incentives and Workforce Development Guide.